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Sheffield Mutual chief exec elected VP of AFS

Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society chief executive Andrew Townsley has been elected vice president of the Association of Friendly Societies.

He will continue his role on the executive committee, responsible for running the AFS and promoting the movement and tax-free savings that friendlies can offer.

The vote was cast by members of the AFS and will see Townsley taking part in conferences, seminars, and working parties on behalf of members and providing avenues for the interests of individual societies to be heard by a wider audience. His period of office will run for a year until October 2007.

The AFS is the official representative body for UK friendly societies, providing representation to government and regulators on the collective interests of its members and seeking to create change to protect and develop these interests.

Friendly societies are mutual organisations providing a wide range of savings, assurance, insurance and healthcare products, often tax-free, offering investment and protection to people in all walks of life.

Townsley says: “I am extremely honoured to be elected to the vice presidency of the AFS and look forward to being a part of the executive committee in the forthcoming year.

The Association exists to help its members meet the challenges of the modern day financial services industry and to promote the diversity and benefits of a movement that has existed for centuries.

One of my key aims will be to increase the profile of friendly societies and the tax savings they can offer. Consumers tend to be aware of tax saving opportunities available via Isas, but are not aware of the £25 a month in additional tax savings that only friendly societies offer.”

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